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FIFA explain to Italy Vieira World Cup decision

FIFA have explained to Italy's Federation why France midfielder Patrick Vieira handed over the World Cup to South African dignitaries.

Federation President Giancarlo Abete demanded an explanation after Manchester City midfielder Vieira was chosen to hand the trophy to the tournament organisers during the opening concert.

"With regards to the concert, FIFA had invited members of the Italian delegation from the 2006 World Cup," read a statement.

"The FIGC let us know it was impossible for the invited members to attend and FIFA fully understood the situation."

Andrea Pirlo had been invited, but was undergoing treatment for his calf strain.

That still does not explain why Vieira, a member of the France squad that lost the Final to Italy in 2006, was handing over the World Cup in this ceremony.

"As for the presence of Vieira, he is a former World Cup winner with African roots, which is particularly relevant during a concert marking the first ever World Cup to be played in the continent."

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